Undoubtedly the most anticipated event of the summer, the 10th Annual BET Awards delivered a comeback year. After last year's much criticized production, award show producers HAD to redeem themselves and bring audiences a show they could talk, tweet, blog, and Facebook positively about for weeks to come. Speaking of redemption....never mind I'll get that in minute.
Producers chose a GREAT host in Queen Latifah. She not only has broad appeal but IS an MC. She sings, acts, produces, and still spits rhymes with the best of them...definitely A TOTAL package! And with the various costumes changes from the Afro-centric, "Ladies First" video to south central LA's "Cleo" from "Set it Off", to the classy jazz vocalist dressed beautiful in pretty dresses, Queen reminded of us where she's been and how much she has to offer.
An on another note, was Queen trying to say in her intro to Diddy's smoked out performance that he's only seen in the company of fine women like herself, or that she too prefers the company of fine women? Either interpretation is probably right.
As in previous years, the theme of mixing the "old skool" with the new was back and I LOVED IT! Thank you BET for reminding your I'm-too-young-to-remember audience where the samples they stanky leg to come from!
El Debarge, WELCOME BACK BABY! Indeed, time did reveal! And yes I can call his great performance a comeback 'cause if you know the challenges he and the Debarge family have been through then you know to see and hear El hitting those falsetto notes just as well as he did in the 80s is amazing, a true testimony!
Talking about holding notes! To see Monica pay homage to Deniece Williams was a great throwback to the original song she sampled, 70's classic "Stop Making A Fool of Me." To see Hip Hoppers, actresses, performers (which are often older than you think) raising their hands and singing along to music from their childhood was PRICELESS.
I understand cutting elements of the show for time, however, LENA HORNE DESERVED MORE THAN A MERE MENTION! There was plenty of talented artists already performing that could have done "Stormy Weather! at least." That said Tyrese was a good choice for the Teddy Pendergrass tribute, but in my personal opinion a better VOCAL choice would have been Jahiem. He's got a new album and could have used that exposure if available.
I swear when I look at Kirk Franklin Prince comes to mind sometimes. Why? I'm not sure but I'd love to hear what they would do musically together. The Haiti tribute was a great reminder that just because Haiti is no longer in the headlines, it is still in need of our help. And the choir singing background was none other than the Grammy nominated choir from West Angeles Church of God In Christ, the church I attend.
The Prince Tribute...Alicia Keys had us all, Prince included, a little scared with that performance atop the grand piano but she delivered "Adore" without fear! Admittedly, I lOVE Patti LaBelle but I probably would have preferred D'Angelo performing "Purple Rain".
And sexy Trey Songz, when in his own element is great, but he does NOT have the vocal range of Prince and it showed badly. The look on Prince's face said it ALL! Trey, young man, did you attempt to sing Prince's music without his permission? Oooh that's a no no! Overall, what the tribute proved was that NOBODY does Prince better than PRINCE NELSON ROGERS himself. In fact, I wonder if he would've rather performed than be sung to.
Now back to the redemption theme...the Michael Jackson Tribute with Chris Brown. Beautiful, heart-felt! It's rare when a performer puts so much of his heart and soul in a performance and allows us to see his or her vulnerability. Hands down it's the performance that will probably by watched and favorited on YouTube a million times for the months to come. Did you cry? I certainly did!
Chris Breezy, as his knicknamed, killed it as a performer! The glow in the dark suits just took it to another level! And later in his acceptance as winner of the Fandemonium Contest he humbly promised to not let his fans down again. To that I say, "Chris don't worry about letting people down, we'll come and go. Just focus on not letting YOURSELF and your God down! Everything else will fall into place."
And that's wrap on another BET Awards! Roll the credits and fade to black--which I literally plan to do in a matter of minutes. I'm officially partied out! See ya next year!